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Sunday, October 6, 2013 Widespread protests over Telangana hit Seemandhra
YSR Congress President Y.S. Jaganmohan holding indefinite hunger strike in protest against proposed bifurcation of Andhra Prades, holding Sonia Gandhi responsible for the "crisis" in the state and accusing her of exploiting sentiments of people to pave way for Rahul Gandhi to become prime minister.
'We want AP to be united': Jagan Mohan Reddy Hyderabad, Oct 5 (IPT) : YSR Congress Party chief Jagan Mohan Reddy, who began an indefinite fast on Saturday to protest against the Centre's decision to create a separate Telangana, said the main motive behind his agitation is to have a united Andhra Pradesh. "We are doing it for a cause. The cause is to have the state united. If the state is bifurcated, we will not even have drinking water. This is a reality," he told Asian News International (ANI) here. Reddy earlier in the day said his party would approach the Supreme Court, and ask it to tell the Centre to withdraw its arbitrary decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. "Why is no one talking about Bodoland, Gorkhaland or Vidarbha? We will be definitely going to the Supreme Court in protest. We are looking forward for some help, because this kind of arbitrarily doing, it is not helpful for the country. People are splitting this country for the sake of votes and seats," he said. Normal life remained crippled for the second day today in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions where a shutdown is being observed to protest the Centre's decision to bifurcate the state. The YSR Congress has called for 72hour shutdown in the non-Telangana re-
gions. The Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) and other unitedAndhra Pradesh supporters have given a 48-hour shutdown call. Educational and commercial establishments remained closed in Seemandhra, where normal life was thrown out of gear. The Union Cabinet earlier on Thursday approved the creation of a new state of Telangana by bifurcating the existing state of Andhra Pradesh. The city of Hyderabad will function as the common capital for both the states for a period of ten years. The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of a Group of Ministers (GoM) to work out the various legal and administrative measures to ensure the safety and security of the residents of all the regions of the State including the guarantee of the Fundamental Rights. The Union Cabinet further approved that the GoM will go into the various issues which concern both the States and suggest appropriate measures to address them. The GoM will also work out the modalities for the provision of special financial disbursements required for the setting up of a new capital for the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh and to meet the special needs of the backward regions and districts of the two States.
Hyderabad, Oct 5 (IPT) : Road transport came to a virtual halt and several shops and businesses remained shut for the second day in Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra against the centre's decision to create a separate Telangana state. Protestors demanding 'samaikyandhra' (unitedAndhra) continued to block state and national highways, disrupting traffic to and from the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Odisha.Educational institutions remained closed in all 13 districts of Seemandhra as Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra are collectively called.Tension prevailed in Vijayanagaram as protestors targeted the properties of state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana and his relatives. They also held demonstrations in front of the residences of several state ministers and parliamentarians, blaming them for the centre's decision.The agitators also stoppedprivatevehiclescarryingpilgrims to the Tirumala temple at Tirupatifor'Brahmatsovam'. Police have made elaborate security arrangements in view of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy's visit to the temple to make offerings on behalfofthestategovernment.Student and govt employees' leaders have been taken into preventive custody. Samikyandhra Joint Action Committee (JAC) has called for a 48-hour shutdown in Seemandhra to protest the central cabinet's decision to bifurcate the state. The Union cabinet Thursday approved the formation of a separate Telangana state. More than six lakh government employees and teachers are on strike for nearly two months to protest the bifurcation. Buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) are also off the roads since Aug 13.
Two suspected Al-Umma militants held in Andhra Hyderabad/Chennai, Oct 5 : Two militants hiding in a house in Andhra Pradesh's Chittoor district were arrested Saturday after an at least 10-hour-long joint operation by policemen from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.Andhra Pradesh Police said the militants belonging to suspected terror outfit AlUmma surrendered after police fired smoke grenades inside the house to end the 11-hour standoff, while another escaped. They added the operation ended without police using firepower. However, Tamil Nadu Police, which pegged the operation's duration at 10 hours, said police fired in selfdefence after militants fired at them. "Panna Ismail and Bilal Malik were secured at Puttur (Chittoor district) after a 10hour stand-off," Tamil Nadu's Director General of Police K.Ramanujam told IANS. He said Malik's wife and three children have also safely come out. Andhra Pradesh's Additional Director General of Police V. S. K. Kaumudi also
told reporters in Hyderabad that one woman and three children were also found staying with the militants. He said the policeman injured in the incident was shifted to Chennai.According to Ramanujam, an inspector of police from Tamil Nadu was injured early in the morning when the raid began. The militants had attacked the police official before they locked themselves inside the home in Puttur town, which is 30 km from the famous temple town of Tirupati and close to Tamil Nadu.Ramanujam said police had to open fire in self defence and during the gun battle, Ismail was injured. He was taken the local hospital for treatment, Ramanujam said, adding Malik was brought to Chennai. The joint operation was carried out based on the intelligence input from Tamil Nadu Police, he added. The commandos, including those from Organisation for Counter Terrorists Operations of Andhra Police, surrounded the house where the
militants were holed up. Police fired teargas shells to flush out the militants who showed some resistance but finally surrendered. Speaking to a news channel, an Andhra Pradesh Police official said police negotiated with the terrorists and asked them to surrender. When they refused, stun grenades and tear gas shells were dropped into the house from the roof. This forced the two to come to the front portion of the house from where negotiation was made easier, the police official said. According to locals in Puttur, the militants had taken the house on rent about a month ago. Tamil Nadu Police had reached the town late Friday to conduct search operations based on the intelligence information. A revolver and two bombs were recovered from a house but the militants fired at the policemen from another house. A tip off about the hideout emerged during investigations into the murder of Bharatiya Janata Party
leader V. Ramesh in Salem and other Hindu leaders in Tamil Nadu.On Friday, the Tamil Nadu Police arrested Fakruddin, who was wanted for allegedly planting a "pipe bomb" in Madurai when BJP leader L.K. Advani was touring the state. According to Ramanujam, the two arrested militants are also involved in the murders of Hindu Munnani leader S. Vellaiyappan and Ramesh and some other cases. "With this, three of the four accused for whom rewards of Rs.500,000 had been announced have been accounted for," he said. Special Investigation Division will pursue investigation in the cases and file charge sheets as fast as possible, he added.Andhra Pradesh Police said they were investigating if the militants were staying in the town to plan any attacks.Asked about reports that they were planning to target 'Brahmotsavam' at Tirumala temple which began Saturday, the police officials in Hyderabad said they had no such information.
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BAI disciplinary committee recommends life ban for Jwala New Delhi, Oct 5 : The Badminton Association of India (BAI)'s disciplinary committee has recommended a life ban for leading doubles player Jwala Gutta for her conduct during an Indian Badminton League (IBL) tie in Bangalore Aug 25. The 30-year-old, however, can be pardoned if she gives an unconditional apology to BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta. "We have recommended a life ban on Jwala for her role in the Krrish Delhi Smashers vs Banga Beats tie. Nowehere in Jwala's reply which she sent to us, is she apologetic for her conduct. So we recommended the ban," BAI's disciplinary committee chairman S.
Muralidharan told IANS Saturday."However, if she offers an unconditional apology to the president, then she can be pardoned. It is
upon the discretion of the president to decide now," Muralidharan, also a BAI vicepresident, added.The Krrish Delhi Smashers, led by icon
India- Bangladesh Grid interconnection to add new dimension to bilateral relations: PM New Delhi, Oct 5 : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said that the IndiaBangladesh Grid interconnection at Bheramara in Bangladesh would strengthen bonds of friendship between both countries and add a rich new dimension to bilateral relations. "The initiatives being undertaken today strengthen the bonds of friendship between India and Bangladesh and add a rich new dimension to our bilateral relations. Economic development is the biggest challenge for all countries in South Asia. Our destinies are inter-linked and so must our economies be," he said at the inauguration of the India- Bangladesh Grid interconnection in Bangladesh through a videoconference."I have always believed - and I believe Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina shares my conviction - that the prospects for economic development in South Asia will be substantially enhanced through a partnership for shared prosperity between the countries of the region," he added. He further said the initiative, which was taken during the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to
India in January 2010, has been realized today, and added that a shared aspiration of people of both these countries has been translated into a concrete outcome. "The transmission line and the HVDC station in Bheramara provide a safe and reliable interconnection of the power grids of our two countries, which will enable supply of 500 MW of power from India to Bangladesh. A shared aspiration of our people has been translated into a concrete outcome," he said.He congratulated Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her colleagues and the people of Bangladesh for this extraordinary accomplishment. Dr. Singh also thanked his ministerial colleagues, technical personnel and officials at the Centre and in the State Government of West Bengal for implementing this landmark project in South Asia in such a short span of time. He also called upon the project authorities to observe the highest environmental standards in its execution, given that the Sunderbans is a common heritage for both the countries, while laying the foundation stone for the
1320 MW Maitri Thermal Power Project being developed by the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company, which is a joint venture of India's NTPC Ltd and the Bangladesh Power Development Board. Dr. Singh said that the inauguration represented an important milestone in connecting the two countries, and the broader region through a growing web of cross-border energy links and trade. "The key to shared prosperity is greater trade and investment in our region and improved connectivity through transport, road, rail, telecom, cyber and energy links," he added. Appreciating Sheikh Hasina for the significant progress that Bangladesh has made under her distinguished leadership, including in the area of energy security, Dr. Singh assured that India would remain a steadfast and long-term partner in your development efforts. "Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economies in South Asia and its achievements in meeting the Millennium Development Goals stand as an example for the rest of the world.
player Jwala, threatened to forfeit a tie when the Banga Beats tried to replace an injured singles player Hu Yun with Jan O Jorgensen in the eleventh hour. The Smashers had protested despite the IBL governing council's go-ahead. Only after the Beats decided to leave out O Jorgensen and play Arvind Bhat instead, did Delhi agree to continue, delaying the tie by half an hour. Following that, the 2011 World Championship women's doubles bronze medallist was given a showcause notice in early September and was asked to explain her conduct.BAI's executive council had appointed a retired high court judge to investigate the incident.
Rail fares to go up by about two percent from Oct. 7 New Delhi, Oct 5 : The Indian Railways has decided to increase passenger fare by about two percent from October 7. The revised fares will also apply to tickets issued in advance for journey to commence on or after October 7. The Ministry of Railways has decided to further revise the fares of AC classes of Duronto Express trains at par with Rajdhani-Shatabadi Express for comparable classes. There shall be no change in the fares of sleeper class and non-AC chair car classes of Duronto Express. "The new changes in fares of Duronto Express shall come into force with effect from 10th October, 2013 in the case of tickets already issued at prerevised rate, the difference in fare and other charge will be recovered for journeys undertaken on or after 10thOctober, 2013 either by DTEs on the trains for by the booking/reservation offices before the commencement of journey by passenger," said an official release
Pilgrims outside the Kedarnath Temple. The religious trip to Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines was opened for pilgrims.
Sunday, October 6, 2013
MARK INDIA, Hyderabad
MARK INDIA Flat No. 106, Block - A, Archana Apartment, East Marredpally, Secunderabad 500 - 026.
Right to Reject is a great step for democracy This morning, the Honourable Supreme Court directed the Election Commission to include negative voting by allowing the voters to reject all the candidates in an election. I wholeheartedly welcome this. I am sure it will have a long lasting impact on our polity and will be a great step in the direction of further electoral reforms that can make our democracy even more vibrant and participative. Friends, for a very long time I have called for a provision for a right to reject in elections. Without it, there was something lacking in the system. Right now, if there are ten candidates contesting from a seat, we are compelling the voters to choose from those ten candidates. This judgment will empower the voters to express their anger and reject all of them. The voters can give a message that we do not like the candidate or the candidates’; party or the party policies.This will give out a very strong message to political parties -- parties will be forced to think about why people are not accepting them. It will make parties more responsible. Many friends in some political parties are skeptical of having a Right to Reject in forthcoming elections. However, I am not surprised. We introduced a bill on compulsory voting, which even included the Right to Reject, but Congress Party opposed it tooth and nail. The bill was passed twice, in 2008 and in 2009, but it was then withheld by the Honourable Governor. Compulsory voting too has several advantages that can make our democracy stronger. It will even mitigate fears about elections becoming display of money power. Many citizens are disturbed by the large amounts of money being spent on elections. However, by bringing compulsory voting, mindless and extravagant expenditure on elections will not happen as the voter will anyway have to come to the polling booth and cast his or her franchise. It is natural for many of you to ask -- do things like Right to Reject and Compulsory voting violate our Right to Expression? No, I would say it is adding completeness in the opportunity for expression. Right now, you are getting only half the right of expression -- that of selecting the person or party. In future, you will get a complete right of expression -- of even rejecting the candidates.
Go Man, get energy from the US! Wish the prime minister, who will be in the Oval Office soon meeting President Obama, well. A successful trip to the United States means a lot and I hope we get energy to light up the houses of millions of our people. China's President Xi Jingping goes globally to hunt for potential markets to buy energy. China's agreement with the Russians is at an all time high in the world energy market. It is good politics to give your people fuel for the future and what better time can it be when the US is refreshingly thrilled with the enormous prospect of shale gas, which can be shipped in containers after converting it into liquid? It was not thoughtful advice to have the prime minister have his significant US visit unnecessarily clouded by a meeting with Nawaz Sharif. There is absolutely nothing he gains from a meeting that is no more than a chai-shai occasion without serious consequences for peace. The visit should have focused more on shopping for energy security and stopping the US from snooping on us, reigning in its popular and innocuously operated instruments to gather intelligence like Google. Nothing is more important for us than have a guaranteed supply of energy for the next twenty-five years. A growth rate stabilised
at 8 per cent and providing unhindered energy to the masses, with a border under control with no war possibilities must top our agenda. No use getting swayed by provocations and getting entangled in skirmishes that mar the prospect of putting India back on the right course of economic rejuvenation. Look at the figures and decide if going to a war and becoming a security paranoid society is preferable to a prosperous and intelligently prepared nation? 600 million Indians live without any electricity. In the next twenty years our demand for energy is expected to grow by 95 per cent. Presently, we don't have the resources to meet the demand and possess sufficient energy sources. At an average growth per cent of 6 to 57 per cent, our peak demand is likely to cross 255,000 MW which seems difficult to meet with our present infrastructure. Energy pundits see energy imports as the only way out for the foreseeable future, till we decide to invest hugely in the domestic energy sector and begin building infrastructure for power production, overcoming environmental hurdles and addressing green issues. In a country where 700 million people use traditional bio mass for cooking and consume 75 per cent
of the domestic energy demand, where bad cooking fuel affects the lives and future of millions of women and girl children, where lack of power supply remains the biggest factor keeping millions of Indians poor and illiterate, can there be any other issue more important than the 'energy hunt'? India lives in two worlds -- one where switching on and switching off lights and cooking without any worries about clean fuel supplies is a norm of life. The other India waits hours to have their small bulb light up so that their children can complete their homework and they cook their food. Most of them depend on unclean fuel affecting their health and future badly. Is there any hope for them? Though coal and hydel power projects may dominate the homegrown energy sector, India will remain an energy importer and hence the significant sector of gas must find a top slot on Manmohan Singh's US visit. The prospect of having shale gas shipped must be good news for India. Though India too has okayed a shale gas policy recently and ONGC is taking up its first shale gas exploration in the Cambay Basin in Gujarat, but it is at a nascent stage with a budget of nearly Rs 150 crores to Rs 200 crores (Rs 1.5 billion to Rs 2 billion) to drill
the first set of wells and even that operation seems to be in consultation with an American energy company ConocoPhillips. While we move in this direction, it might be prudent to explore possibilities of shale gas imports with technology transfer provision from the US. Diversifying our energy supplies and reducing dependence on traditional fuel and Arab countries will help us in the future. India must master shale gas exploration technology and get US help. It is the fuel of the future; already, we have delayed going for shale at least by a decade. China has the world's largest shale gas reserve and more than 20 per cent energy needs of the US are met with shale gas supplies which may be upped to 46 per cent soon. It also helps reduce green house emissions. A study by the Baker Institute of Public Policy at Rice University concluded that increased shale gas production in the US and Canada could help prevent Russia and Persian Gulf countries from dictating higher prices for the gas they export to European countries. The leader of the nation must be clear about his objectives and singlemindedly pursue those goals. Getting into murky and controversial nuclear liability issues won't help.
Venezuela’s Maduro stuck in shadow of ‘El Comandante’ Chavez Slowly and chaotically over the years that followed, the late president’s pet project - conceived a decade into his rule and named “Ciudad Caribia” for the country’s indigenous Carib people - began to take shape on the mountain 10 km (6 miles) northwest of the capital, Caracas. “This was his dream. Now it is his legacy,” said hairdresser Yalmy Rumbo, 39, watching her children play and laugh in a public square where Cuban instructors were organizing games. Rumbo is among the first 1,600 families, almost all refugees from floods and mudslides around Caracas, to have been given homes in new apartment blocks covered in Chavez imagery. Eventually, Caribia is intended to house 20,000 families, although critics complain at the slow pace of construction, the collapse of some shoddily-built walls and the lack of transparency over huge sums invested. Caribia is a hotbed of proSocialist Party government sentiment in a country that otherwise was deeply divided in electing charismatic Chavez’s handpicked successor, Nicolas Maduro as president in April. After Chavez’s death from cancer in March at the age of 58, the popularity of “El Comandante” has grown and taken on even deeper religious undertones among the support base that kept him in power for 14 years. While that helped Maduro, a former bus driver, union activist and member of
parliament win a six-year term as president, it is also making it near-impossible for him to step out of Chavez’s shadow. “As long as Nicolas maintains Chavez’s route, the people will be with him. If he deviates from Chavez, everything will change, he’ll be finished,” said Rumbo. Therein lies Maduro’s dilemma. He owes everything, from his political inheritance to his election, to his late mentor. So, unsurprisingly, he parrots Chavez at every turn, be it thundering at the U.S. “empire” or trying to prove himself a man of the people during his daily, televised walkabouts. Yet to solve a daunting array of problems, from the highest inflation in the Americas and embarrassing shortages of basic goods to rampant corruption and shoddy infrastructure, many feel Maduro needs to become his own man and tweak some policies. “I feel sorry for him sometimes. He’s trying so hard to be like Chavez, but that’s simply an impossible task. I can understand why he’s doing it, but he can’t spend his entire six-year term like that,” a senior government insider told Reuters. “It’s almost heresy to say it, but we know there were mistakes under Chavez, and it’s time to fix them. If we’re to survive, if ‘Chavismo’ is to survive, that is essential.” The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was an emerging view in the ruling Socialist Party
that major policy planks such as nationalization and currency controls may have run their course. CHAVEZ’S SHOES As if following in the larger-than-life Chavez’s footsteps was not hard enough, Maduro, 50, only just made it into them in the first place, scraping through the April election by just 1.5 points when all polls had pointed to a bigger win. There was much muttering within the Socialist Party over how Maduro could have squandered Chavez’s 11point winning margin from the previous election in October 2012, despite the wave of sympathy over his death. Many blamed a lackluster campaign. Losing opposition candidate Henrique Capriles refused to accept the result, accusing Maduro of fraud, and his coalition has since labeled the government illegitimate and incompetent. Yet with the election board and courts throwing out Capriles’ challenge, and Latin American neighbors broadly backing him, Maduro appears to have shored up his political position. In fact, his main threat is no longer the post-election dispute but the South American OPEC nation’s ailing and distorted economy. Regardless of their politics, Venezuelans across the board are fed up with power cuts, rising prices - 45 percent in a year - and the increasing grind to make ends meet. “I voted for Chavez, then for Maduro, but this is becom-
ing intolerable,” said secretary Margarita Vivas, 43, leaving a supermarket in the middle-class Caracas district of El Paraiso after spending a third of her monthly salary on food. Red banners of Chavez’s face and election posters for Maduro plastered walls next to the supermarket. “I have to say the truth, even if it hurts: socialism is making me poorer,” added Vivas, staring at the posters. In a recent survey by pollster IVAD, 67 percent of Venezuelans had a pessimistic view of the country’s general direction, 20 points higher than at the election. Maduro’s personal approval ratings, though, have only dipped a few points, to between 45-50 percent in most polls, perhaps as “Chavistas” stay loyal to the former president’s dying call for them to back Maduro, and give him longer to fix their problems.Capriles’ ratings are off, too, as his election challenge sputtered and his media profile dropped. “Maduro still has the benefit of the doubt. But if after a year, he is still trying to act like Chavez yet not showing progress, people may get tired and his ratings might fall into the 30s,” said David Smilde, a sociology professor at the University of Georgia who has studied Venezuela for 20 years. “He needs to develop some independent policies.” POLICY PRAGMATISM? Maduro, who famously worked as a bus driver in Caracas before entering union activities and politics,
says pessimism over his presidency is a product of a “war” against him by his opponents and media censorship of his achievements. Terming his rule “Street Government”, Maduro reels off statistics - such as $16 billion disbursed in 2,000 new projects during his first 100 days in government - as evidence of fresh energy. “It’s a revolution within the revolution,” he said. Yet even supporters struggle to name any significant new policies. Maduro has shown some hesitant signs of considering pragmatic reforms, particularly to unblock access to dollars.He made a show of meeting with private businessmen - who were demonized by Chavez - and continually promises to tinker with a Byzantine currency control system to allow greater flexibility and a larger flow of hard currency. Yet importers continue to moan at the lack of dollars. And the scramble for greenbacks is distorting the economy more than ever. The black market price for dollars is now about seven times the official rate of 6.3 bolivars, much weaker than under Chavez. “The ‘pseudo’ economic policy pragmatism is a function of political pragmatism, ahead of the December local elections and the declining popularity of the Maduro administration,” Siobhan Morden, head of Latin America strategy at Jefferies, wrote in a research note in September. Such a withering assess-
ment may be expected from Wall Street, but it is also starting to be heard in socialist circles. Ruling party member and political analyst Nicmer Evans says the government is “kidding itself” that currency and price controls are working, and says selective corruption arrests will not work if better-connected officials are left untouchable. “The currency controls, as now conceived, have become a den of corruption, and focus of action for the parasitical ‘boli-bourgeoisie’ who follow the same instinct as the old oligarchy - bleed the state dry,” Evans wrote in a blog last month, using an opposition term for those who made it rich under Chavez. The next flashpoint in Venezuelan politics is likely to come on December 8 with elections for mayorships around the country. Opposition activists are hoping grassroots discontent at the plethora of day-to-day problems will produce a protest vote, and Capriles is portraying the ballot as a referendum on Maduro. Yet the government maintains a powerful vote-mobilizing machine and will present the election as a homage to Chavez, meaning another split-down-the-middle outcome is most likely. A more significant date may be 2016, when the opposition has a chance to demand a referendum to try and recall Maduro. That measure is allowed under the constitution halfway through a presidential term, if some 3.8 million signatures are gathered.
Two 90-minute group sessions could prevent mental health issues in teens Two 90-minute group sessions among teens in high schools significantly reduced anxiety, depression and behaviour problems over a 2-year period, a new study has claimed. Dr. Patricia Conrod of the University of Montreal and its affiliated Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Centre, said that their study shows that teacher delivered interventions, which target specific risk factors for mental health problems, can be immensely effective at reducing the incidence of depression, anxiety and conduct disorders in the long term.Nineteen schools in Greater London participated in the study, which included a control group of schools in which students did not receive any interventions. Students were evaluated for their risk of developing mental health or substance abuse problems using an established personality scale. The scale measures different personality factors that are known to be correlated strongly with behavioural issues: for example, a person with high level of impulsivity is more than five times likely to develop severe conduct problems within the next 18 months. The researchers looked for impulsivity, hopelessness, anxiety sensitivity and sensation seeking. The schools in the intervention condition were trained to delivery interventions to their high risk students the control schools were not. The two-session interventions included cognitivebehavioural strategies for managing one's personality profile. The interventions included real life "scenarios" shared by the high risk youths within their focus group. The groups discussed thoughts, emotions and behaviours within the context of their personality type-identifying situational triggers, for example-and with the guidance of the teacher, explored ways to manage their issues. The effects were clinically significant, with a 21-26 percent reduction in severe depression, anxiety and conduct problem symptoms over the course of the trial.
Eating citrus fruits helps prevent formation of kidney cysts
A component of grapefruit and other citrus fruits like naringenin, blocks the formation of kidney cysts, a new study has revealed. The team of scientists from Royal Holloway University, St George's, University of London and Kingston University London used a simple, single-celled amoeba to identify that naringenin regulates the PKD2 protein responsible for polycystic kidney disease and as a result, blocks formation of cysts. Professor Robin Williams from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway said that this discovery provides an important step forward in understanding how polycystic kidney disease may be controlled. To test how this discovery could apply in treatments, the team used a mammalian kidney cell-line, and triggered the formation of cysts in these cells. They were then able to block the formation of the cysts by adding naringenin and saw that when levels of the PKD2 protein were reduced in the kidney cells, so was the block in cyst formation, confirming that the effect was connected.Meanwhile, Dr Mark Carew, from the School of Pharmacy and Chemistry at Kingston University, said further investigation is underway to understand the action of naringenin at the molecular level. This work will entail looking at the function of the PKD2 protein as a cell growth regulator. The study is published in British Journal of Pharmacology
Walking one hour per day cuts risk of developing breast cancer by 14 pc
A new study by an Indian origin researcher has revealed that women can cut their chances of developing breast cancer by walking for an hour each day. The American Cancer Society, which commissioned the study, involved 73,615 postmenopausal women, of whom 4,760 were diagnosed with breast cancer during a 17-year follow-up, the Scotsman reported.It was found that this moderate activity was linked with a 14 per cent lower risk of the disease compared to women who were least active.Around 47 percent of the women said walking was their only recreational activity and among them who walked at least seven hours per week had a 14 per cent lower risk of the disease compared to those who walked three or fewer hours per week.The researchers found that women taking part in more vigorous activities for an hour a day had a 25 percent lower risk of breast cancer. Dr Alpa Patel, senior epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, concluded saying that their study clearly support an association between physical activity and postmenopausal breast cancer, with more vigorous activity having a stronger effect.
Sunday, October 6, 2013
MARK INDIA, Hyderabad
Westgate mall attackers identified
Indian-American Arun Kumar nominated to key administration post
Addis Ababa, Oct 5 : Four young men stroll through the besieged Westgate mall in Nairobi with Kalashnikovs slung across their shoulders. They chat on their phones, browse the aisles at the Nakumatt supermarket, and explore an electronics warehouse. New surveillance footage, released to Kenyan TV channels a week after the horrific mall siege that that left at least 62 dead and hundreds injured, contradicts claims that 10 to 15 militants participated in the attack and raises fresh questions about the competence of the Kenyan response. The footage, Kenyan authorities claim, has led them to identify four of the militants as Khattab al-Kene, Abu Baara al-Sudani, Omar Nabhan and Umayr. This information could not be confirmed independently. Al-Shabab, a Somali militant group affiliated to alQaeda, took responsibility for the attack, describing the assault as retaliation for Kenyan military deployment in Somalia. Little is know of the Westgate attackers. Matt Bryden, a former head of the U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia, told the Associated Press that al-Kene and Umayr were known members of al-Hijra, a Kenyan extremist outfit related to AlShabab. Omar Nabhan is a Mombasa-born al-Qaeda operative, according to Kenyan authorities. Mr. Bryden said Omar Nabhan could be a relative of Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a known al-Qaeda operative accused of conducting multiple attacks in Kenya, including attacks on American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. In 2009, U.S. authorities had claimed to have killed Saleh Ali Saleh in a daylight raid in the south Somalia town of Baraawe.
Mogadishu, Oct 5 : Foreign military forces carried out a pre-dawn strike on Saturday against foreign fighters in the same southern Somali village where U.S. Navy SEALS four years ago killed a most-wanted al-Qaeda operative, officials said. The strike was carried out in the town of Baraawe in the hours before morning prayers against what one official said were “high-profile” targets. The strike comes exactly two weeks after al-Shabaab militants attacked Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, a four-day terrorist assault that killed at least 67 people in neighbouring Kenya. The leader of al-Shabaab, Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, also known as Ahmed Godane, claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was in retaliation for Kenya’s military deployment inside Somalia. A resident of Baraawe, a seaside town 240 km south of Mogadishu, said by telephone that heavy gunfire woke up residents before
London, Oct 5 : In what is the first legal challenge from within the U.K. against the British intelligence gathering agency GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) for its secret surveillance of private internet data on a mass scale, three civil liberties groups and an internet activist have taken their case before European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The groups, Big Brother Watch, Open Rights Group, English PEN, along with German Internet activist Constanze Kurz have come together on a platform called Privacy Not Prism. They argue that the information gathered from documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden points to the GCHQ, in collaboration with the United States’ intelligence arm, the National Security Agency, exercising untrammelled surveillance of private digital data of U.K. citizens — a breach of the Right to Privacy under Article 8 of the ECHR. “Any interference with that right must be proportionate and in accordance with adequate and published legal standards. The law and practice in the U.K. fails to meet either requirement,” the
group states. Revelations from the Snowden documents started making headlines from June this year and have served to expose ‘industrial scale’ surveillance by NSA and GCHQ. All communication data can be surveyed and intercepted by these organisations. At the centre of the expose are the two programmes: PRISM, which enables the NSA to gather data from U.S.-based internet corporations; and TEMPORA, a GCHQ programme that allows it to tap all electronic data passing into or out of the U.K. through under-sea fibre optic cables. “There is no avenue within the U.K. to challenge the government’s action,” Jim Killock, executive director, Open Rights Group, told The Hindu when asked why a legal challenge was not mounted in the courts of this country.He said that they wrote to the U.K. government in July stating their plans of challenging the legality of GCHQ’s surveillance sweep. The government’s response was that as the complaint was against the country’s intelligence services, they must first present their case before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.
President Pranab Mukherjee and Belgium's King Philippe light lamps at the inauguration of the Europalia-India Festival, a cultural extravaganza showcasing India's rich cultural heritage in Brussels.
Military strike reported in southern Somali town
Civil liberties groups move first legal challenge to GCHQ
dawn prayers. An al-Shabaab fighter who gave his name as Abu Mohamed said “foreign” soldiers attacked a house, prompting militants to rush to the scene to capture a foreign soldier. Mohamed said that effort was not successful. The foreign troops attacked a two-story house close to the beach in Baraawe, battling their way inside, said Mohamed, who said he had visited the scene of the attack. Foreign fighters resided in the house, Mohamed said. Al-Shabaab has a formal alliance with alQaada, and hundreds of foreign fighters from the U.S., Britain and Middle Eastern countries are known to fight alongside Somali members of al-Shabaab. A Somalia intelligence official said the targets of the raid were “high-profile” foreigners in the house. The intelligence official also said the strike was carried out by a foreign military. Somalia’s nascent Army does not have
15 killed in attack on Libyan military outpost Tripoli, Oct 5 : Gunmen on Saturday attacked an Army outpost near the town of Bani Walid in south-eastern Libya, leaving 15 soldiers dead, reported the state-run news agency LANA. Five other soldiers were wounded in the attack, which prompted security authorities to close an artery road linking Bani Walid to the town of Tarhuna, some 80 km southwest of Tripoli, added the agency.The road closure means that Bani Walid, a hilltop town, is virtually under siege, according to security officials.“I think the assailants are smugglers of illegal immigrants,” said Ahmed Haruda, an Army commander in Tarhuna. The masked insurgents attacked the soldiers in a pre-dawn drive-by shooting, reported local media. No one has claimed responsibility. Bani Walid was one of the strongholds of the regime of former dictator Muammar Qadhafi during a 2011 armed revolt against his rule. Libya’s new leaders have been struggling to assert their authority and re-establish security in the North African country since Qadhafi was overthrown and killed in October 2011.
the ability to carry out a stealth night-time strike. A second intelligence official also confirmed the attack. Both insisted on anonymity to discuss intelligence matters. Foreign militaries, often the U.S. but not always, have carried out several strikes inside Somalia in recent years against al-Shabaab or al-Qaeda leaders, as well as criminal kidnappers. A Western intelligence official said it appeared likely that either U.S. or French forces carried out the attack. The official insisted on anonymity to discuss intelligence matters. Another resident of Baraawe, who gave his name as Mohamed Bile, said militants in Baraawe closed down the town in the hours after the assault, and that all traffic and movements have been restricted. Militants were carrying out house-tohouse searches, likely to find evidence that a spy had given intelligence to a foreign
power used to launch the attack, he said. “We woke up to find alShabaab fighters had sealed off the area and their hospital is also inaccessible,” Mr. Bile told The Associated Press by phone. “The town is in a tense mood.” In September 2009, a daylight commando raid carried out by Navy SEALs in Baraawe killed six people, including Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, one of the mostwanted al-Qaeda operatives in the region and an alleged plotter in the 1998 bombings at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 250 people. Military raids carried out by troops on the ground carry the risk of a troops being killed or captured, but they also allow the forces to collect bodies or other material as evidence. Missile strikes from sea of unmanned drones carry less risk to troops but increase the chances of accidental civilian deaths.
‘High turnout of women in Pak. polls’ Islamabad, Oct 5 :In the General elections in May that saw an unprecedented voter turnout of 55 per cent, many women voted for the first time, overcoming threats of violence, prompting senior journalist Dr. Shahid Masood to say that the rights of women to vote is not a given in Pakistan. The elections were keenly monitored by the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) and Gender Concerns International (GCI) through the gender lens. A report released earlier this week by GCI and Aurat Foundation highlighted several concerns of women voters, especially in remote and tribal areas. Sabra Bano of GCI said that even after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ordering re-polling in two stations — on complaints that women were prevented from voting — no one came out to vote. It was important to document the challenges and difficulties of women voters with a view to reform, she said. In the 2008 general elections, 564 women’s polling stations — most of them in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) — recorded zero turnout. In 2013, out of the 37.6 million citizens registered to vote,
women constituted 43.6 per cent; as compared to 48.6 million men, the report said. U.N. Women put the total women turnout at 15 million, making it 40 per cent of all votes.There were many voter education programmes targeted at women. Despite preelection threats, women came out to vote accompanied by their families, neighbours or friends, the report said. Khawar Mumtaz, chairperson of the NCSW, said in some places, women did not maintain secrecy of the ballot and could be seen voting together; she also stressed the need for confidentiality. Ms. Mumtaz stressed that despite all the chaos, there was a need to acknowledge the unprecedented turnout of women, many of them first time voters. For example, Khair Muhammad Samejo village in the Jacobabad area of Sindh — having recorded zero turnout of women in 2008 — had a 61 per cent turnout this time. She said greater attention needed to be paid to the space allocated for booths — in some places small crowded classrooms with no provision for water or sanitation acted as booths. Poor roads to polling booths added to the problem.
Washington, Oct 5 : Indian-American Arun M. Kumar has been nominated by President Barack Obama to a key administration post, giving him charge of international trade at a critical juncture when the U.S. is looking to increase its export. Arun M. Kumar, till recently a partner and member of the Board of Directors at consultancy firm KPMG, was nominated on Friday, by Mr. Obama to be the Assistant Secretary and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, International Trade Administration in the Department of Commerce. “The extraordinary dedication these men and women bring to their new roles will greatly serve the American people,” Mr. Obama said as he announced nomination to several other key administration positions.“I am grateful they have agreed to serve in this Administration and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come,” he said.Mr. Kumar joined KPMG in 1995 as a Finance Management Leader and from 2005 until his retirement in September 2013, he led the firm’s West Coast Finance Management Consulting practice.
Dismantle terror infrastructure, Pranab tells Pakistan Istanbul, Oct 5 : Coming down heavily on Pakistan, President Pranab Mukherjee has said unless it dismantles the terror infrastructure on its soil, there is no scope for progress in talks between the two countries. “We demand of Pakistan that the infrastructures created by the terrorist outfits in your territories, dismantle them! Keep your commitments to India, don’t allow terrorists to use your land to perpetrate their nefarious activities on India.“Unless that atmosphere is created, how could you talk about other developments? Therefore, we do hope that what Nawaz Sharif stated, he will try to implement that,” Mr. Mukherjee said in an interview to Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman.The President exhorted that a “serious effort” should be made by Pakistan on this subject as he said most terrorist activities against India are emanating from “territories under the control of Pakistan.”“Let the appropriate atmosphere be created. The actual line of control on which the ceasefire exists, it has been violated.”He also expressed happiness over the steps taken by the two countries to resolve their differences.“And I am glad that both Prime Ministers have agreed to direct their officers, Director Generals of Military Operations...to sit down and resolve this issue in the framework of the 1972 agreement, which is more popularly known as the Shimla Agreement, between Mrs Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, then Prime Minister of Pakistan.” “That is the framework we can use to resolve all issues through dialogue. But for that peace is needed. Serious effort should be made by Pakistan. This is our appeal to assure that their territory is not being used to carry on terrorist activities against India,” he said.He said both the countries have a lot of mechanisms to talk to each other on issues related to terror and territorial integrity. “So far as our relation with Pakistan is concerned, there are regular institutional arrangements. Also one point is to be kept in view, the commitment which was made by Pakistan, not now but in 2004, that Pakistani territory will not be allowed to be used by the forces inimical to India.
No end in sight to U.S. shutdown crisis Washington, Oct 5 : Amid continued political impasse leading to a government shutdown, the United States appeared to be no closer to resolving the crisis, the first in 17 years, with time fast running out for raising the debt limit. Some eight lakh federal employees have been furloughed as a result of the shutdown — which was in its fourth day on Friday. The Congress needs to increase the federal debt ceiling by October 17 to avoid having the US default on its obligations. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, following the meeting with his party colleagues, offered no clue as to how he intends to resolve the problem. “We are locked in an epic battle,” Mr. Boehner told his Congressional colleague urging them to hang tough. “This isn’t some damn game,” Mr. Boehner told reporters. “The American people don’t want their government shut down, and neither do I. All we’re asking for is to sit down and have a discussion and to bring fairness to the
American people under Obamacare. It’s as simple as that. But, it all has to begin with a simple discussion,” he said.The White House said it would not negotiate till the Republicans took steps to end the government shut down. This among other things is affecting its capabilities to monitor Iran sanctions. “It illustrates the consequences that the Republican shutdown continues to have on the government’s missions and workers across the country. It is time for the Speaker of the House to bring up the Senate-passed funding bill and just vote,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. On Friday, 27 House Armed Services Committee Democrats urged Boehner to bring a clean continuing resolution to the House floor. In a letter to the Speaker, the Democrats explained how the shutdown is endangering the national security and must end. The House should have an opportunity to vote to end the terrible impacts of the current shutdown and to reinsure the national security,
they wrote. On Friday, for the first time since 1996 and only the second time in modern memory, the Bureau of Labour Statistics did not issue its monthly jobs report, as a result of the shutdown of nonessential government services. Meanwhile governors across the nation were contemplating to spend money to keep the national parks and other programs open, which have been closed due to government shutdown, the New York Times reported. The Washington Post reported beginning next week, thousands of home buyers will be unable to get approvals for their mortgages because of the government shutdown and potentially undercutting the nation’s resurgent housing market. Indian-American Fareed Zakaria said that America’s global influence derives in large measure from the strength of its democracy. “If American politicians start playing fast and loose with the rules, doing whatever it takes to get the results that they want, what does that say to people in Russia.
US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden order lunch at Taylor Gourmet sandwich shop near the White House in Washington. The president and vice president stepped out of the White House on a surprise and rare off-campus stroll to grab lunch at a neighborhood eatery.
Sunday, October 6, 2013
MARK INDIA, Hyderabad
Pallam Raju meets Sonia, Congress adopting partisan approach on Telangana: Venkaiah advised 'not to act in haste' New Delhi, Oct 5 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday questioned the Congress Party's hasty decision to create a separate Telangana state, and said its dealing with the issue of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh is casual, immature and irresponsible. "They have spent more than nine and a half years of time; they have not done enough homework. They have not talked to their own party people, they have not done made efforts to convince their own party people. A party which cannot convince its own people, a party which cannot convince its own chief minister and ministers; how do you expect that party to convince the people of the state?" said Naidu. "The Congress Party is adopting a partisan approach, the Congress Party is treating the entire issue as if it is an internal matter of the Congress Party," he added. Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde yesterday said that the Centre will have to take the Seemandhra Ministers into confidence and 'console' them over the nod for formation of a separate Telangana state. "They are our colleagues, we will see they remain in the cabinet. They have expressed their concern and we will have to take them into confidence and we will try our level best. After all, when there is bifurcation of state such feelings are there. No one can avoid this, we will have to console them," he said.Shinde also made it clear that the ruling Congress Party is not looking for any political advantage with the decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. The Home Minister's remark came a day after the Union Cabinet gave its approval for creation of Telangana following which Union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi, Textiles Minister K.S. Rao and Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister M.M. Pallam Raju resigned from the Council of Ministers.Meanwhile, the tension continues to prevail in Rayalaseema and Coastal regions in Andhra Pradesh, where people turned out in large numbers on the first day of the 72hour shutdown yesterday in protest against the Union Cabinet's approval to bifurcate the state. The Centre has been requested to provide additional forces for deployment in the two regions as public demonstrations turned violent at several places.The Union Cabinet earlier on Thursday approved the creation of a new state of Telangana by bifurcating the existing state of Andhra Pradesh. The city of Hyderabad will function as the common capital for both the states for a period of ten years. The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of a Group of Ministers (GoM) to work out the various legal and administrative measures to ensure the safety and security of the residents of all the regions of the State including the guarantee of the Fundamental Rights. The Union Cabinet further approved that the GoM will go into the various issues which concern both the States and suggest appropriate measures to address them.
New Delhi, Oct 5 : Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister M.M. Pallam Raju, who offered to quit after being unhappy over the decision to create a separate Telangana state, met Congress President Sonia Gandhi here on Saturday evening who advised him 'not to act in haste'. Pallam Raju after the meeting told media that he updated Gandhi what all is happening subsequent to the Cabinet decision related to Telangana. "And I said that there are very very genuine concerns. There are concerns related to water-sharing, there are concerns related to the status of Hyderabad because of the insecurities of the people who are living in and around Hyderabad. There is a feeling of denial of opportunity for the students who look to educational institutions and jobs in and around Hyderabad. And it is not easy to create a second capital, there are lot of complications involved and people are agitated and there are serious considerations which I said and pleaded with her," said Pallam Raju. "And Madam did say that there is now a Group of Ministers which is looking into this issue and you must work with them. And also yesterday I had said that I had decided to resign and so I went and met Madam and requested that I would like to resign from the Council of Ministers. But she gave me the same advice that I was given by the Prime Minister that I should not act in haste and that I should try and find
AAP confident of winning in Delhi New Delhi , Oct 5 : Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal Saturday said his party will form the next government in Delhi and vowed to pass the Janlokpal Bill after the assembly poll win. Another leader said Kejriwal was their chief ministerial face. "The AAP will form the government in Delhi," Kejriwal told the media here, a day after the Election Commission announced the schedule for the Dec 4 poll in Delhi. He said the BJP and the Congress had failed in the state and that was the reason why the public would vote for the AAP. "Our focus is to get rid of corruption," he said. "If you mock the public, the public can throw you out of power," he said.
Kejriwal's party colleague Yogendra Yadav, who was also present at the party press conference, said: "After a long time, Delhi has a candidate it can trust. We have always projected Arvind Kejriwal as our chief minister...face." Kejriwal said once the AAP forms a government, a special assembly session would be convened at the Ramlila Maidan -- where Anna Hazare was on fast for 12 days in 2011 -- and the Janlokpal bill would be passed. "On Dec 29, the people of Delhi will witness the assembly, and we will pass the Janlokpal (bill) in a special assembly session at Ramlila Maidan," Kejriwal told reporters.Kejriwal said they were in touch with Anna
Hazare but the anti-corruption movement leader had made it clear that he would not campaign for the AAP. "I am in touch with Anna Hazare. He has made it clear that he does not want to campaign for the AAP and I respect his decision," Kejriwal said. After the press conference, Kejriwal tweeted: "AAP will form govt by 15 Dec. On 29 Dec, spl session of Assembly will be called in Ramlila Maidan & Lokpal will be passed." "It wud be called Delhi Janlokpal Bill," he wrote on Twitter. Assembly elections will be held in the national capital Dec 4 with over 11.5 million voters eligible to cast their ballots in 70 constituencies.
Kashmiri school children walk past paramilitary soldiers as they stand guard in Srinagar. The army said that it has killed seven suspected rebels in two separate gun battles near the heavily militarised line dividing the disputed Kashmir region between India and Pakistan.
a solution to the numerous issues by working with the Group of Ministers and also other leaders from all over Andhra Pradesh," he added. Pallam Raju yesterday said he is deeply offended and aggrieved that the concerns and sentiments of the people of the region have not been taken into consideration. Pallam Raju, a senior leader from Seemandhra region, had earlier on Thursday night met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and offered to resign. The Prime Minister, however, asked him to continue. Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde yesterday said that the Centre will have to take the Seemandhra Ministers into confidence and 'console' them over the nod for formation of a separate Telangana state. "They are our colleagues, we will see they remain in the cabinet. They have expressed their concern and we will have to take them into confidence and we will try our level best. After all, when there is bifurcation of state such feelings are there. No one can avoid this, we will have to console them," he said.Shinde also made it clear that the ruling Congress Party is not looking for any political advantage with the decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.The Home Minister's remark came a day after the Union Cabinet gave its approval for creation of Telangana following which Union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi resigned from the Council of Ministers.
Third Front meet in Delhi Oct 30: Mulayam Lucknow Oct 5 : Likeminded political parties will meet in Delhi Oct 30 to discuss the formation of a Third Front ahead of Lok Sabha polls, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said Saturday. Addressing a gathering at Etawah after laying the foundation stone of his dream project, a Lion Safari, Yadav said the meeting had been convened by CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat. "People and parties may be making tall claims but the fact is that the Third Front will emerge as the biggest group after the Lok Sabha polls," the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said. Yadav also took potshots at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said the huge crowds at its rallies would not guarantee votes in elections. "Log badi badi batein karte hain ki badi bhari bheed hai, par kaam kuch nahin karte hain" (People make tall claims but do precious little work for people), he said. Yadav said the Uttar Pradesh government headed by Akhilesh Yadav had made education, medicine and water free for farmers. He told his son-cumchief minister to ensure that Uttar Pradesh had surplus power by the end of his five-year tenure.
Young girls paint dolphins, one of the endangered species, on their faces during World Wildlife Week celebrations in Moradabad
Hope UPA 'cures' don't become India's 'diseases': Narendra Modi Mumbai, Oct 5 : Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Saturday criticised the UPA Government's economic policies, and said he was unable to understand how it expected to arrive at a viable solution without surveying the ground realities. "The problems cannot be treated as purely financial, they can be solved only if we resolve not to disconnect the problem from the impact it has on the people. What are the people and the youth population thinking-then only can we reap the benefits of a solution. ... There were differences in politics earlier as well, but today, it is just full of lies and allegations and misuse of agencies," Modi
said, via video-conference, while addressing the First India-International Bullion Summit here today. "As far as UPA policies go, I hope that their cures don't become India's diseases. Today, I cannot understand what is going on with the government in Delhi. Till the other day, they were saying that the rupee was declining because of an import problem. As a solution, they proposed that they will shutdown petrol pumps at night. Please explain to me if closing petrol pumps at night will strengthen the rupee. Will our import and export problems vanish?" Modi asked. Modi also advised that the country needs to cut its imports and increase its exports to bail the economy out
of the present downturn, and appealed to the state governments to tweak their export policies so as to benefit the local population."We need to cut our imports. ...India has coal, but because the coal files have gone missing, the country which used to place coal alongside gold in value, that same country is even its gold the value of its coal. ...Our export must go up, but most importantly the Government of India must identify our most important assets," Modi said. "We cannot function on the basis of the government in Delhi. I appeal to all state governments to make their own export policies. The state should identify its assets, and then work its policies around that," he added.
SC wants just relief for kin of road accident victims New Delhi, Oct 5 : The Supreme Court has said that it was the statutory duty of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunals and appellant courts to award "just and reasonable compensation" to dependents of people killed in road accidents. "...it is the statutory duty of the tribunal and the appellate court to award just and reasonable compensation to the legal representatives of the deceased to mitigate their hardship and agony...," said the apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice V. Gopala Gowda in a recent judgment.The court
said this while allowing an appeal by Sanobanu Nazirbhai Mirza, a dependent of a Gujarati painter Nazirbhai Mirza who was killed by a public transport bus operated by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation in 1998.The judges enhanced the compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act to Rs.16.9 lakh which the owner of an offending vehicle had to pay along with an interest of 7.5 percent per annum to Sanobanu Nazirbhai Mirza and other dependents of the accident victim. "...we are of the view that the legal representatives of the deceased are entitled to
the compensation as mentioned under the various heads...even though certain claims were not preferred by them as we are of the view that they are legally and legitimately entitled for the said claims," said Justice Gowda. The accident tribunal in Gujarat awarded a compensation of Rs.3.5 lakh to the victim's family. The Gujarat High Court reduced the compensation to Rs.2.5 lakh and directed the heirs of Nazirbhai Mirza to return Rs.99,500 out of the Rs.3.5 lakh already paid to them by the owner of the vehicle which killed Mirza.
Modi also reminded the audience that when there were extensive discussions on inflation last month, several ministers had linked it to the changing trend of the food habit in the country. "They don't want to investigate the root of the problem. They don't want to survey who will be impacted in what way by the problem," he said. Modi, while hitting out at the Congress for its trend of refusing to accept its mistakes and act with swiftness, said: "If the Congress makes a mistake, it takes them several years before they realize and mitigate the several problems that have risen from their decision. They, then, make fresh promises and keep on piling their sinful mistakes on the people of the country."
Good governance to be BJP's focus in assembly polls New Delhi, Oct 5 : A day after assembly polls were announced in five states, the BJP said Saturday good governance will be the centre of its agenda. "Our party will go to the voters on the issues of 'Good governance vs Bad Governance' in the coming assembly elections in five states," Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said in a statement Saturday.
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